A question I get asked quite often by friends and family is “what should my first premier designer purchase be?”. I recently weighed the pros and cons of a Louis Vuitton Neverfull ad nauseam with a friend, and during the conversation I realized the gravity of the decision for someone who doesn’t regularly purchase designer goods (ie: the majority of the people I know). Belonging to the PurseBlog community I sometimes get swept up in the normality of buying designer bags. However I do understand that the decision to purchase a big ticket handbag is a huge choice for most people.
If you are currently thinking about buying your first premier designer bag, or if you are in the market to add to your collection in general, I’ve rounded up a list of bags I believe to be excellent choices for first time buyers.
Louis Vuitton Graceful MM ($1,440)
I bet you are shocked that the Graceful MM is listed in lieu of the overt choice from Louis Vuitton, the Neverfull. In 2020, the Neverfull is the obvious choice for a first designer bag (it was mine, so not knocking it whatsoever!). However, I think the Graceful is a wonderful and more unique style of handbag for a first foray into the world of Louis Vuitton. Hobo bags are also having a moment right now, so a Graceful bag is a great way to stay on trend and also purchase your first premier designer handbag.
A camera bag is an excellent choice for a first premier designer purchase. Not only do the price tags tend to be a bit lower, which may help lessen the sticker shock with that first big purchase, but the style is versatile and perfect for pretty much any outfit. When I brought home my first camera bag, I was unsure of how much use I would get out of it, but it has easily become one of my most used styles in my handbag collection. I adore this YSL camera bag. The tassel detail, quilted leather, and bold hardware have my heart skipping a beat.
Prada Daino Calfskin Leather Hobo ($1,790)
Since I was old enough to understand what fashion and designers are, Prada had always been the pinnacle of my goals and dreams for a designer bag. I remember being in high school and dreaming about becoming a successful business woman (what business that was, I had no idea), but I always found that while daydreaming over my successful career, I always dreamt of wearing a Prada bag. Perhaps it was my obsession with the Devil Wears Prada, but in my mind, successful woman wear Prada, period. This gorgeous Daino hobo bag is the perfect purchase for any fashion lover, but is an especially beautiful classic for any designer newbie.
Celine Small Cabas Phantom Tote (Shop via Fashionphile)
Celine has many covetable bags, but I am a huge fan of the Cabas Phantom tote for a first-time handbag buyer. At $1,850 it is more expensive than a lot of bags on this list, but it’s a classic silhouette and a tote bag will never go out of style. Devoid of flashy logos, this is a great choice for the minimalistic handbag lover.
Mini Antigona Sugar Leather Satchel ($1,790)
A beloved bag amongst handbag lovers, the Givenchy Antigona is a fantastic choice for anyone looking to invest in a high end handbag. I love the mini size, it can fit all of the essentials yet is still compact enough for every day use. The Antigona is iconic and known for its structured shape. In 2020 some colors are still backordered, so clearly this bag is still a fashion favorite.
Chanel Flap (Shop Chanel Via Fashionphile)
As an avid shopper of the preloved market myself, don’t feel intimidated to buy a bag from a luxury consignment shop. My advice? Go through a trusted, verified seller. I personally have bought quite a few handbags off of Fashionphile and have had a lot of success with my purchases each time. Take your time in researching and make sure to look at photos and read through the description of the condition of the handbag. A Chanel bag is a no-brainer for a first time handbag buyer, but with the price tag skyrocketing for a brand new one, I recommend buying a preloved Chanel! I actually have made it a goal of my own to get a Chanel flap bag this year and I fully intend on going through the luxury resale market to get one.
Chloé Marcie Mini Crossbody Satchel ($1,290)
Another handbag classic, the Chloé Marcie Mini is one of my favorite bags. The Marcie is a modern day classic and can work in any wardrobe. The mini version is right on trend, making it a perfect choice for a first time bag lover. Recognizable in its own rite while still flying under the radar without logos, the Marcie bag should be placed in your cart immediately.
First premier designer purchase or not, I am madly in love with this cute little bag from Gucci. This Neo Vintage messenger bag is less than $1,000, which for a first time buyer is a huge benefit. This bag mixes Gucci’s iconic monogram with a leather Gucci logo tag. Gucci describes this bag as a homage to the brand’s history, an intentional nod to Gucci’s luxury luggage days.
Louis Vuitton NéoNoé ($1,650)
Call me biased, but Louis Vuitton is one of my favorite brands for a first time premier designer purchaser. The NéoNoé is a play off Louis Vuitton’s historic bags from 1932 that were originally designed to carry bottles of champagne. As an avid LV lover and a regular champagne drinker, I love the modern touches this bag adds to the house’s iconic start as a luxury luggage company. I am particularly loving the classic monogram with the Rose Poudre.
If you are a first time handbag buyer, I hope this list will help. My advice? Don’t overthink your purchase. If a bag speaks to you and it works for you financially, go for it and have fun!